Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Had a question about M-CORES that you never asked? Wondering what your neighbors are asking? Well you are not alone. Since the program’s inception, FDOT has been listening and gathering public comments during Task Force meetings, Community Open Houses and through social media, mail and FDOTListens.This list offers answers to the most frequently asked questions.


What is the role of each Task Force? What happens after each corridor task force submits its report?

The Florida Legislature charged each Task Force with providing recommendations and evaluations in a final report by November 15, 2020, which will guide the Florida Department of Transportation in its subsequent study phases through the implementation of high-level needs, guiding principles, and instructions.

After the Task Force reports have been submitted, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will then move into the Alternative Corridor Evaluation (ACE) process. During the ACE study, a set of criteria will be established to develop and evaluate each potential corridor for the proposed project. These criteria will be based upon the guiding principles developed by the Task Force, other datasets provided by and discussed with the Task Force, and collaboration with federal, state, and local agency partners.

Using this set of criteria, each potential path/course will be evaluated to determine which options should be considered for further study. The corridors will be evaluated for environmental feasibility along with the no-build option.

At the end of the ACE study, FDOT will issue a report that identifies which corridor(s), if any, are carried forward for further evaluation in the Project Development and Environment (PD&E) study. The no-build option is always recommended for further study.

During the PD&E phase, specific options, called “alignments,” for where the proposed project could go within each possible corridor are developed. Throughout the ACE and PD&E processes, public feedback is regularly sought to help FDOT best understand the needs and desires of those within the study area.


How can development of the M-CORES corridors help protect precious wildlife, habitat and other natural resources?

The M-CORES legislation specifically requires the Task Forces to address wildlife habitat, water quality and other environmental concerns. FDOT has released avoidance graphics for each corridor that illustrate where there will be no or limited impact by the proposed corridor. The graphics also show FDOT’s commitment to preserving Florida’s most precious environmental and historical resources. As Task Force members continue to craft guiding principles for developing potential corridor improvements, they are considering potential design features including wildlife crossings and other protections.

FDOT also has released graphics which highlight the existing roadways for potential enhancement and where the M-CORES projects could be co-located. Graphics that include the enhancement options are included in the above link. Enhancements could include design elements to prevent wildlife conflicts, connecting and expanding wildlife corridors, connecting and expanding conservation lands, improving water flow and quality, and connecting and expanding multi-use trails.


How much will it cost to build these corridors?

The proposed M-CORES projects are in the early pre-planning stages and Task Forces are still determining needs of each proposed corridor, which will then be used to guide financial and environmental feasibility studies. In accordance with law, no transportation corridor can be built if it does not meet financial or environmental feasibility. Additionally, no paths/courses for the proposed corridors have been determined by the Task Forces at this time. As such, any estimation for a cost for a corridor would be very unreliable at this time as the proposed corridors are yet to be determined.


Is No-Build still an option?

The M-CORES program is unique in that is has a five-phased/stepped approach for project development.

Step 1 is the Task Force phase and will continue until November 15. During this phase/step, each Task Force has been charged with crafting a set of Guiding Principles that will be used in developing potential corridors, enhancing existing corridors or taking no actions for some portions of the study area.

As the program moves into Phases/Steps 2 and 3, FDOT will issue a report that identifies which, if any, corridor(s) are carried forward for further evaluation in the Project Development and Environment (PD&E) study and Design phase. It is during these phases that environmental and financial feasibility are evaluated and the no-build option is considered.

Click here to learn more about the M-CORES process.


Where is the road going? Have the locations of the corridors been determined?

No decisions about the roadway locations will be made during Phase/Step 1, the Task Force phase.

As the program moves into Phases/Steps 2 and 3, FDOT will issue a report that identifies which, if any, corridor(s) are carried forward for further evaluation in the Project Development and Environment (PD&E) study and Design phase. It is during these phases that environmental and financial feasibility are evaluated and the no-build option is considered.

M-CORES In The News

Citrus County Chronicle:
State should address critic’s concerns over superhighway extensions, but not end projects

The Ledger/Naples Daily News:
Bush: Florida needs new traffic corridors

The Gainesville Sun:
New infrastructure is critical for Florida

The Orlando Sentinel:
M-CORES toll roads a big step forward for Florida

TEAMFL:
M-CORES planning is paying careful attention to wildlife protection

The Today Show:
COVID transplants' from Northeast and Midwest are flocking to Florida

Corridor News

Public Engagement in
Southwest-Central Florida during unprecedented times


The M-CORES Hybrid Community Open House provided two ways for the public to participate: virtually and in-person at a physical location in Hendry County at the LaBelle Civic Center using social distancing and CDC guidelines. The Hybrid format provided multiple opportunities for the public to participate, receive information, interact with staff, provide valuable comments and receive feedback. These strategies create opportunities on how program information is disseminated and how the public can get involved, which can contribute to our planning and public engagement processes.

With over 800 community participants, virtual public involvement provided a broader platform for making M-CORES public involvement more accessible. This hybrid approach to engagement provided the Southwest-Central Florida community with a better understanding of the program process and provided opportunities for public engagement during unprecedented times.

Throughout the Hybrid Community Open House, the public was able to access user-friendly features such as a Welcome Video from L.K. Nandam, FDOT District One Secretary, and Task Force Chair, program overview, goals, maps, process/schedule and other interactive information to provide input. This site provided an overview of the M-CORES program as well as information shared with the Southwest-Central Florida Corridor Task Force at their last meeting.

To ensure broad participation and involve more citizens in the decision-making process, Southwest-Central Florida Corridor uses a variety of channels to communicate and provide valuable opportunities for different levels of engagement to the public.

M-CORES has also partnered with local government channels to save costs, cultivate relationships with local news and gain regular access to radio and television spots. Our goal is to gather community feedback, provide program updates and invite the community to our many public meetings and open houses throughout the corridor area.


Through multiple public meetings, the Southwest-Central Florida Corridor Task Force has held five in-person meetings, three webinars, one virtual meeting, and two hybrid (virtual/in-person) meetings to discuss the needs of the corridor and how the M-CORES program could help meet those needs. Earlier this year, the Task Force worked with FDOT to develop areas within the project area that should be avoided by the project, as well as areas that should “attract” the project.

The Hybrid Community Open House along with upcoming meetings and presentations can be accessed on the M-CORES Calendar of Events page.

Northern Turnpike Corridor - Leveraging Broadband for Automated Vehicles and Safer Roads

The M-CORES Program Focuses on Designing Transportation for the Future

While high-speed internet can break down barriers in economic and civic life, it can also create opportunities to drastically improve the day-to-day travel experience for residents in communities with access to this service. With faster internet comes enhanced communication, and the M-CORES Program includes proposed roads that leverage broadband for connectivity and communication and offers support for emerging transportation technologies.


The term automated vehicles (AV) is not a new concept or phrase, but it is growing in popularity in transportation planning, as it provides benefits to users. AV focuses on connectivity and communication between a vehicle and the infrastructure (roads, bridges or other features that accommodate travel), vehicle to vehicle and infrastructure to infrastructure.

Connectivity in AV is made possible through on-board vehicle units and roadside units located in the infrastructure, which allow for communication (sending and receiving signals) between units. This ongoing communication leads to a consistent flow of signals that can lead to safer roads.

Vehicles can relay information to other vehicles regarding driving conditions, such as speed and behavior, so that safe distances are maintained. Infrastructures could send signals to vehicles with weather and environmental alerts, such as rain, smoke and fog, allowing the driver to decide on alternate routes or to postpone travel. Traffic lights can send signals to vehicles on upcoming light changes, allowing vehicles ample time to slow down or stop safely. Infrastructure could even send signals to vehicles or other infrastructure regarding traffic patterns and accidents, helping to better manage congestion.

With access to more immediate data regarding road and vehicle conditions, the possibilities for safer roads and travel are endless. The M-CORES Program focuses on the importance of building roads to meet current and future needs of Florida’s communities for safety.

Suncoast Corridor Holds Community Open House in Monticello


In March, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) had to postpone all scheduled public meetings in order to comply with safety recommendations and protocols at the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the meetings that was impacted was a Community Open House for the Suncoast Corridor of M-CORES in Jefferson County. At the time of the cancellation, FDOT committed to rescheduling that event as soon as the Department was able to resume such public meetings.

Six months later, on September 1, FDOT fulfilled its commitment to the residents of Jefferson County and held the first Community Open House since the beginning of the pandemic at the historic Monticello Opera House. The meeting attracted 85 residents over the course of the evening, and attendees represented a wide demographic including families with young children, local business owners, elected officials, senior citizens and high school students.

Each visitor was afforded an opportunity to learn more about the M-CORES program generally and the Suncoast Corridor specifically. FDOT staff outlined the project process, gave updates on project status, and answered questions one-on-one. More than 40 of the attendees provided feedback on the project via comment forms at the Community Open House, and these comments will be provided to Suncoast Corridor Task Force members and will be reviewed by FDOT staff.

“I was very glad to see so many folks come out to our Community Open House in Monticello,” said Ryan Asmus, FDOT’s Project Lead for the Suncoast Corridor. “Events like these are great because they allow those interested in the project to ask as many questions as they’d like and get answers directly from the team working on it daily. Jefferson County residents are engaged in the process, and it was wonderful to be able to talk with them and hear their thoughts.”

The Suncoast Corridor has another Community Open House scheduled for September 29 at the Gilchrist County Woman’s Club. For more information about this and other upcoming events, please visit FloridaMCORES.com.

Upcoming Events

FDOT continues to provide in-person and virtual options for Task Force Meetings and Community Open Houses to share progress and gather your input. Public participation and stakeholder input are vital to the M-CORES planning process. Through multiple public meetings, a robust website, the FDOT.Listens@dot.state.fl.us email account, and many more channels for input and feedback, the department is making every attempt to engage the public on this important proposal.

By working together, we can determine successful transportation solutions for everyone and ensure the state’s infrastructure is best prepared for generations to come.

Additional events will take place in all three corridors in the coming weeks. Please see below or check our Calendar of Events for other upcoming meetings in your area.



Southwest-Central Florida Corridor Events


Task Force Meeting - Sept. 23, 2020
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
In-person and Virtual Event Details ▸



Public Viewing Location #1
Whaley Hall at Lee County Civic Center
11831 Bayshore Road
North Fort Myers, FL 33917


Public Viewing Location #2
UF/IFAS Extension Service – at W.H. Stuart Center
1702 Highway 17 South
Bartow, FL 33830

—————————————————————————————


Community Open House - Sept. 24, 2020
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
North Collier Park - Exhibit Hall
15000 Livingston Road
Naples, FL 34109

In-person and Virtual Event Details ▸



Community Open House - Sept. 29, 2020
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Nora Mayo Hall
500 3rd Street NW
​Winter Haven, FL 33881

In-person and Virtual Event Details ▸



Northern Turnpike Corridor Events


Task Force Meeting - Sept. 22, 2020
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
In-person and Virtual Event Details ▸


Public Viewing Location #1

Plantation on Crystal River
9301 West Fort Island Trail
​Crystal River, FL 34429




Public Viewing Location #2

Hilton Ocala
3600 SW 36th Avenue
​Ocala, FL 34474

—————————————————————————————


Community Open House - Sept. 23, 2020
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Tommy Usher Community Center
506 SW 4th Avenue
Chiefland, FL 32626

In-person and Virtual Event Details ▸


Suncoast Corridor Events


Task Force Meeting - Sept. 24, 2020
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
In-person and Virtual Event Details ▸



Public Viewing Location #1

Lafayette County Courthouse, County Commission Room
120 W Main Street
Mayo, FL 32066




Public Viewing Location #2

Madison Golf & Country Club
445 Country Club Road
Madison, FL 32340

—————————————————————————————


Community Open House - Sept. 29, 2020

5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Gilchrist County Woman's Club
2107 S. Bronson Memorial Highway (CR 339)
Trenton, FL 32693

In-person and Virtual Event Details ▸

Stay In The Know

Public participation is vital to the M-CORES process, and there are many ways to share your comments or ideas.

If you’re interested in learning more, please visit FloridaMCORES.com, email us at FDOT.Listens@dot.state.fl.us, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or visit us at our upcoming Community Open Houses. We’re here to listen to you!

FloridaMCORES.com▸

Follow Us on Facebook▸

Follow Us on Twitter▸

fdot.gov
M-CORES
Interactive Map
Events
Newsroom
FAQs
Contact

605 Suwannee Street | Tallahassee, FL 32399-0450

No longer want to receive these emails? {% unsubscribe %}.